We are almost two weeks into a brand spanking New Year and I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas season. May 2014 treat you all well, may you stay healthy and may your friends and loved ones remain forever close.
Starting off blogging this year not with a cookie post but rather with a special cake. Ron turns 59 on the 14th of this month, his last run at his fifties. To commemorate this auspicious year I made him a ski hill cake. Not only does my husband love to golf 3/4′s of the year but to help pass the time during the months his course is closed, he tries to hit the slopes at one of our local ski hills. I thought that a cake depicting him “making a last run” would be a good metaphor for this particular birthday.
My daughter gifted me with the three tier cake pan set from Cake Boss Baking, together with his cake lifter. Love them all, the cake pans are great. Armed with new cake pans I needed a great recipe and turned to Gail’s post published back in 2010. If you are looking for a lovely yellow cake to make, look no further. The batter comes together wonderfully and the texture and taste of the cake is perfect. I had a few questions and tweeted Gail. Her response was instantaneous and extremely helpful. When you need help with cakes, you go to one who knows cakes!
I was making a three tiered cake and used the 10″, 8″ and 6″ pans. Here’s a photo of the 10″ and 8″ cakes baked.
Saturday evening was an early birthday celebration hosted by my daughter Amanda. Our son-in-law Jeff prepared a lovely dinner of blackened chicken (homemade spiced rub), Caesar salad and garlic bread with homemade garlic butter. Appetizers of shrimp and baked brie were enjoyed prior to our dinner and of course, the cake for dessert.
I followed Gail’s recipe just as it is written with the exception of adding vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. Prior to baking the cakes though, I made a batch of Bridget’smarshmallow fondantso I could make the decorations that would adorn the ski hill. Using food colouring I dyed sections of the fondant into the colours I would need and then made trees, a ski run sign, a little ski lodge, a skier, bench, snowman and ski lodge sign. “Tombstone Ski and Snowboard Resort” is more indicative of my thoughts on skiing rather than on Ron’s abilities. He is actually quite a good skier. Me, I won’t even go up in a chairlift let alone careen down a mountain. The only winter boots my feet will go into are walking boots. Never a pair that strap onto two long thin strips of wood.
I stacked the three layers of cake and trimmed off sections on each layer to create a sloped cake.
Chocolate Buttercream was spread between each layer. The recipe used was Gail’s Swiss Meringue Buttercreamand made good use of the leftover egg whites from the cake recipe.
Regular Buttercream Icing was used to *dirty ice* the cake. The cake was then put in the fridge before adding the final layer of icing.
To add the final *snow* layer of buttercream icing I filled a piping bag and using a #12 tip, piped out the icing in sections, spreading each section. No need to smooth it all out as you want the *snow covered mountain* look. The *ski run* was the only area that I smoothed over.
Next I added all the fondant decorations and we packed the cake in the car and drove to my daughter’s home in Ottawa.
The cake made the hour long drive unscathed and when we arrived at Amanda’s my grand daughter Ella had also made a snowman for Ron’s cake. She did hers out of plasticine complete with *twig arms* and a striped scarf. After inserting a toothpick into the bottom of it, she placed it on the side of the ski hill. Her little sister Sophie had to get a close up look. She was pretty anxious for dessert time to come around!
This early birthday celebration for Ron was so enjoyable and this ski hill cake was a lot of fun to make. Thanks so much to Gail at One Tough Cookie NYC for her cake and buttercream recipe and for just being her wonderful self.
Happy Birthday to my husband. You truly are a special man and I look forward to sharing this last year of your 50′s with you.